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Monday, October 05, 2015

Chronosynclastic Infundibulum

Kurt Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan (easily my favorite of his books), describes a chronosynclastic infundibulum, a place or moment in which all manner of truths, even contradictory ones, fit together. So two people who are in total disagreement about something can both be absolutely right. A far-fetched concept, to be sure, but no more than a lot of quantum mechanics. And I think I stumbled upon one, sort of.

I saw a bunch of pink shirts and umbrellas and whatnot in Mill Creek Park as I was biking home. I figured cancer, it was almost October after all. Went to check out the gathering. This is the park on the plaza with the big horse fountain where pretty much everyone who decides to have a protest gathers to protest whatever their noses are out of joint over. Or where they rally when they're super pumped about something. I'm not sure why this park gets so much traffic of this sort, but it does.

As I turned my bike around on Main and cut over on 47th, I saw the grisly posters. Not people in pink shirts, they were further on. These were pro-life demonstrators holding up graphic pictures of the aftermath of abortion. I'm not sure if anyone has ever been swayed by this sort of signage—real shots of the aftermath of lots of surgeries would gross people out. The whole deal comes down to whether you think that's a person with all the right to be alive and interest in doing so as you and me, or not.

But I saw a couple of familiar faces among the pro-life protestors. Nobody I know super well, but people I've met and had conversations with. Good people trying to move the needle on a holocaust.

Then I got to the pink shirts, which had nothing to do with cancer and everything to do with Planned Parenthood. The pro-lifers were out to counter the 'I stand with Planned Parenthood rally. Where I saw some other familiar faces. Real familiar, then later on Facebook I saw pics of the rally from other friends I hadn't picked out from the crowd in their pink shirts.

And again, good people. People I genuinely like, friends. Trying to move the needle on repeated attempts to defund all the good things Planned Parenthood does. I'm not sure why Planned Parenthood should be entitled to federal funding, but they're receiving it and a lot of people are receiving services that matter through that funding. There's probably a dozen better ways that could be delivered, but since when did the federal government ever deliver something in a sensible way?

The whole 97% argument doesn't work on the pro-life people any better than the aborted fetus pictures work to change the minds of the folks in the pink shirts. If the Kmher Rouge only spent 3% of its budget on the Killing Fields, it wouldn't make the Cambodian genocide okay. I've reached a point where I just won't even argue with folks about this stuff. If you believe it's a lump of tissue, the Planned Parenthood side makes perfect sense. If you believe it's a human being, there isn't anything the organization could do that would redeem it. John Gotti doesn't become less of a killer if he also made incredible lasagne and tithed faithfully.

And I'm pretty sure nobody ever changed their mind because of a rally or a counter-protest (or my blog).

Though maybe a superhero could get it done.

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